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NTSB TO REVIEW BRIDGE REPORT
...to hear the moronic politicians blast this. I'd like an engineering degree over night as well.
they over-built the gusset plates for the load the bridge would face for the next 10-15 years for sure.
After an expansion to extend the bridge deck out from the main structure to both sides, and then to add railings and lights, changed the load significantly. Perhaps the Gusset plates should have been reviewed and replaced during those projects. However once again we all KNOW that on the day of the collapse, there were several extra heavy concrete semi's near the point of failure, as well as a weakened concrete top to the bridge, it was re-habilitated lane-by-lane, and traffic that day was routed to the outermost lanes of each side.
Beyond the engineering issues there are administrative and maintenance issues. We know that MNDoT discovered the early signs of the gusset plate failures in 2003 and photographed the bent plates for further study. From a strictly procedural stand point, what should have happened at that point? How does this failure affect "best practices" for public transportation departments around the country?
When NASA investigated the shuttle disasters they conclude that there were parallel engineering and procedural failures. I suspect that the same holds here. However, the preliminary reports from the NTSB seem to have no analysis of the procedural issues. Why are they only looking at the engineering issues at the expense of the public administrative issues? As America's infrastructure ages, we become more dependent upon the proper administration of our infrastructure in order to maintain safety. This report needs to open the discussion of those administrative issues, not silence them in favor of a strictly mechanistic description of the failure that lead to the collapse of the bridge.
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Updated Aug. 22, 2011
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